Glutathione S-transferases (GSTTI and GSTMI) gene deletions in Tunisians: Susceptibility and prognostic implications in breast carcinoma

A. Khedhaier, S. Remadi, M. Corbex, S. B. Ahmed, N. Bouaouina, S. Mestiri, R. Azaiez, A. N. Helal, Lotfi Chouchane

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Glutathione S-transferase Thetal and Mul (GSTT1 and GSTM1) are involved in the metabolism and detoxification of a wide range of potential environmental carcinogens. Conversely, they contribute to tumour cell survival by detoxification of numerous products induced by cancer therapy. The authors designed a large study to investigate the susceptibility and prognostic implications of the GSTT1 and GSTM1 gene deletions in breast carcinoma. The authors used the polymerase chain reaction to characterise the variation of the GSTT1 and GSTM1 genes in 309 unrelated Tunisian patients with breast carcinoma and 242 healthy control subjects. Associations of the clinic-pathologic parameters and the genetic markers with the rates of the breast carcinoma specific overall survival (OVS) and the disease-free survival (DFS) were assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses. A significant association was found between gene deletion of GSTT1 and the risk of early onset of breast carcinoma (OR = 1.60, P = 0.02). The lack of GSTT1 gene deletion was significantly associated with poor clinical response to chemotherapy (OR = 2.29, P = 0.03). This association was significantly higher in patients with axillary's lymph node-negative breast carcinoma (OR = 12.60, P = 0.005). The null-GSTT1 genotype showed a significant association with increased DFS in this selected population of patients. This association was even higher in patients carrying both null-GSTT1 and -GSTM1 genotypes. The gene deletion of GSTs may predict not only the early onset of breast carcinoma but also the clinical response to chemotherapy and the recurrence-free survival for patients with lymph node-negative breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1507
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Breast carcinoma
  • GSTM1
  • GSTT1
  • Polymorphism
  • Prognosis
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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